Saturday, 10 October 2015

AA2A News!

Some time ago, (it feels like ages), I wrote and sent off my application to participate in the AA2A scheme at Teesside University.  I wrote my application to be considered for both a MIMA affiliated place (AA2A plus) and a standard Teesside uni one.  There are only four places available, two of which are the MIMA supported ones.

With great trepidation and really awful nerves, I made a terrible presentation at MIMA on Thursday Ist October.  The panel were really interesting people, I liked them but I was shaking so much I couldn't think straight.

All of us were told prior to our presentations that the caliber of entrants this year had been exceptionally high, so as the week passed and I had not heard anything, I assumed that I had not been successful.  I was disappointed, but not surprised because I knew I had not done myself justice; nerves always get the better of me in these situations.  At the same time, I was clinging to the fact that my application had been of a high caliber! 

Today, Saturday 10th October, I had a letter from Teeside University:

"Dear Sue,

There was a great deal of interest in the AA2A placement scheme at Teesside University. This letter confirms the success of your application for AA2A standard scheme at Teesside University.  Unfortunately  on this occasion you were not successful for the AA2A plus scheme. . . . .  "

I was a bit disappointed at first, after all the stress; I had really wanted the opportunity to work with MIMA, but now that I have had time to think about it I am really pleased to have been offered this amazing opportunity, and very grateful.  After all, there were only four places available and I have won one of them!

I am looking forward to having the opportunity to develop some of my ideas into three dimensions, both in painting, print and book form.  I think it will be a very fulfilling time and I am very much looking forward to using the library and attending lectures too.  I read in the additional information that I will also have access to the arts materials shop, so I'll be able to buy some reasonably priced paper and other materials, always very welcome.

Part of my work at Teesside will involve keeping a blog and as soon as I have details, I will post a link so that anyone interested in keeping up with what I am doing will be able to do so.  I am also very much looking forward to talking with students and hosting a studio visit, where they can see where I work and ask me questions.  I am not so much looking forward to giving presentations, but I'll grit my teeth and get over it!  Who knows, I might improve my technique and get to like the process. . . 

Exciting times in terms of my development as an artist!

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Saturday, 3 October 2015

Pause for breath and a sale

October. Acrylic on paper

A rare day off today.  Up late, then into York for some lunch and a quick visit to Priestley's at 36 Bootham to drop some images in that will be used for publicity for my upcoming show. I took a look at Andy Dalton's show which is still on; it is very good.  The gallery has been improved since I was there last and Andy's work looked fabulous.  I still hanker after owning the big print by him that is in the window.

While there, chatting to Sarah, I was surprised and delighted to learn that I had sold a drawing!  It is one of my small studies that I left with the gallery after the three woman show last year.  This news was a real boost; it will cover the cost of the cards I've just ordered to sell alongside the prints of my work at the show.  

The last few weeks have been extremely stressful; frantic activity on the anti fracking campaign as we near the deadline for objecting to the application by Third Energy and trying meanwhile to prepare for a presentation for something I have been shortlisted for and nearly caving in with exhaustion and frustration with all the work.

However, on Thursday I delivered my presentation.  Not well, but I did it.  I suppose I can only hope that my passion and excitement about delivering my ideas and the opportunity to grow creatively that the placement would give me shone through.  I am not sure when I will hear if I have been successful or not; competition was fierce and the applications, we were told, were of an exceptionally high caliber. Fingers crossed then. . . .

The day after making my presentation, I attended another seminar. this time organised by Chrysalis Arts entitled Contemporary Artists in Rural Contexts.  It was a great opportunity to catch up with some of my favourite people and I met a few more rather lovely ones too.  The first half was pretty good although one of the speakers was rather unprofessional in the way he criticised the project of two artists and as good as named them by showing their work, which I felt was rather spiteful and unnecessary.  All the other presenters were very interesting.  

The "discussion" session, however, was dire.  I felt frustrated by the lack of any real discussion because it was all led from the front with questions from the audience, not all of which could be heard.  It was very old school and it felt very much as if we were being told what the answers were, almost as if there was only one answer.  Sadly it all felt a bit preconceived to my mind. It would have been so much more constructive if we had divided into groups and discussed certain topics relating to artists in a rural context and then fed back to the whole group. There would, I think, have been a much richer exploration and sharing of ideas and we would all have learned something new as well as having the opportunity to get to know other people in the room a bit better.  

I wonder, what the outcome of this day will be? There was certainly no mention of any follow up of the day or intention to study the issues in any more depth to produce a published analysis as far as I can recall.  It was all very unsatisfactory, especially after my fantastic experience at the half day seminar/discussion with people in Wakefield organised by Axisweb recently.  

Never mind, I have an exhibition to sort out now and there is no use dwelling on these things.  And I have sold a drawing, did I say?  Hah!

I should also add that Ruth Miemczyk's work that I went to see (and hear her  in conversation with curator Lara Goodband) last week is stunning; utterly wonderful work. See previous blog entry for details.

Study. Acrylic on paper

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